San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
25.252.1 - 25.252.13
Being Innovative - Lessons Learned from the Practice of Technology CommercializationAbstract Innovation has emerged as a critical priority for all types of organizations to ensureprosperity and future success. In this time of sluggish economic performance, financial austerity,and intense global competition, every organization, including higher education, needs toimplement processes of innovation that deliver more value from every available resource.Engineers must be the leaders of this implementation. Despite the attention to innovation, philosophies and best practices of ‘being innovative’ arestill emerging. Just as the philosophies and academic discipline of leadership have emerged overthe last decades, it is believed that innovation will follow the same path. These concepts andphilosophies will be developed from practicing innovation stage development projects andobserving and recording best practices from successful outcomes. A technology commercialization program is described where corporate partners bringconcepts, research results, and intellectual property and teams of faculty, staff, and studentsdevelop designs, models, and prototypes as part of the commercialization process. Over ten yearof operation, the program has worked with hundreds of industrial clients in a broad range ofindustry segments. These projects come after the research stage and fall in the critical innovationstage of development where technologies are prepared for success in the marketplace. Throughthese projects, several guiding principles and best practices have emerged for the process ofinnovation. The paper summarizes eight ‘best practices’ learned from these innovation stage projects. Ina broader sense, the best practices are appropriate not only for technology commercializationprojects but serve as guidelines of how to ‘be innovative’ for both individuals and organizations.These eight best practices will be supported both by current literature in innovation managementand the experiences of a decade of innovation and education success.
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